5 Indispensable Parenting Practices

Being a parent is anything but simple or straightforward. Every day is essentially a new adventure. A beautiful, winding, topsy-turvy adventure. What can be a great help along the ride is your approach.

Sometimes, we assume that parenting is about striving for perfection. Or we think we need to be privy to some significant secret. Or we assume that parenting requires natural talents or natural instincts that we don’t have.

But really, parenting is a skill. It’s about learning and practicing.
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What Did Your Parents Teach You?

What teachings did your parents offer you in your childhood and teen years? Be mindful as you answer that question of the spoken and unspoken teachings and messages that were given to you and what you received.

Let us first consider the spoken teachings from your parents or primary caregivers. The elements necessary to parent a child well are multi-faceted and require consistent love and effort on the parents' part. The parents' attitude and energy level also must be considered. The parents' history and background are factors in how well or effectively they teach by word and example.

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Child Sexual Abuse: Don’t Hide Your Head in the Sand

Right as the Summer Olympic Games started in Rio, the IndyStar reported that USA Gymnastics, the national governing body for gymnastics, ignored sexual abuse allegations filed against coaches. Complaints were reportedly filed against more than 50 gymnastics coaches, but authorities were not contacted about the complaints if they did not come directly from a victim or her parents. Three of those coaches have since been convicted, while a fourth killed himself in jail.

Before I mention any details, I have to give a trigger warning to trauma survivors. This news brought up a lot of poignant, ugly feelings for me.
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If You Don’t Have One True Calling, That’s a Good Thing — Here’s Why

One of the most significant generational differences between millennials and older members of the workforce is the contrasting mindset around career path.

Not so long ago, the average employee joined a company straight out of college, worked his or her way up from entry level to middle ground, and eventually joined the upper echelons of management, hardly stopping to give other employers a second glance. There was a much more linear development of career growth, which also included now-mythical concepts such as pensions and six weeks of accrued paid time off.
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Brain and Behavior

The Denial of Trauma

“I don’t have trauma.”

“What happened to me isn’t trauma.”

“Trauma is something horrific.”

“I should have been able to cope with it.”

“It’s not sad.”

“I’m not upset.”

Accepting you are suffering from trauma is by far one of the most difficult aspects of recovery. I thought that admitting I was suffering from trauma suggested I couldn’t cope with the events in my life or I didn’t have the strength to deal with and process those events.
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Anxiety and Panic

My Life with Anxiety

Since I was younger, I knew that I thought in a different way than most children. As I grew older, I became consumed with death and its aftermath. I couldn’t understand why my biggest worry wasn’t which dress I would wear to prom. I felt like a fish out of water, and no one would understand.

After seeking help, I grew to realize that living with anxiety is not so abnormal. Some people have low cholesterol, some are allergic to peanuts, and some, like me, have an anxious mind. Honestly, I would pick anxiety over a peanut allergy any day.

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Anxiety and Panic

Surprise Diagnoses

When I was diagnosed with PTSD at the beginning of the year, it came as a surprise to me. I’d gone to this psychologist for a potential BPD diagnosis. I walked out with not only that, but four years' worth of PTSD as well.

It was surprising because in these four years I’d not once thought about this disorder; it never even occurred to me. But as I thought about it, letting it sink in, things started making sense. And since the diagnosis, I’ve had to think about what happened. Because I really didn’t deal with it; I'm still having trouble figuring out where to go from here.
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Children and Teens

Dads: Today and Yesteryear

Though Hillary has broken the glass ceiling once again, let us keep in mind that it’s not just women’s roles that have changed since the struggle for women’s lib began. Men’s roles have changed as well. And one of the best ways men’s roles have changed is in their role of Dad.

Dad’s role formerly was to be the provider and disciplinarian. Moms would yell at misbehaving kids to "wait till your father comes home." Dad was cast as the threat -- the one who would lecture you, punish you or beat you when you finally saw him. When he wasn’t working, he was viewed as someone who deserved rest: “be quiet, don’t bother Dad; he’s (napping, watching TV, reading the paper).”

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